Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel is one of the most famous and ornate churches in all of Europe. The masterpiece of Renaissance art, known as the Cappella Sistina in Italian, is a part of the Apostolic Palace, the Pope's official residence in Vatican City. Over the years, the expansive space has been the site of Papal Conclaves, Masses, and tours.

This resplendent chapel in the Vatican, part of the Vatican Museums, is open to visit most days, provided it's not a holiday. One ticket allows access over the course of five days to the Sistine Chapel as well as to the Historical Museum and the Papal Apartments. Special rates are available for children and students.

Along with self-directed tours, you can book guided tours that combine a visit to the chapel along with the Tapestry Gallery, Pio Clementino Museum, Gallery of the Candelabras, Gallery of the Geographical Maps, and the Raphael Rooms. Separate garden and art tours are offered along with those detailing the history of the Sistine Chapel.

It's perfectly fine to secure tickets once you've arrived at the Sistine Chapel in Rome, because plenty are available. Whether you plan to explore on your own or with a guide, you'll have the chance to see one of the world's treasures. The history of Sistine Chapel stretches back to the fifteenth century when Pope Sixtus IV oversaw a team of painters who restored a medieval hall called the Cappella Magna. Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, and Pietro Perugino created frescoes depicting the lives of Moses and Christ.

The most famous chapter in the history of the Sistine Chapel began a few decades later when Michelangelo was commissioned by Pope Julius II to repaint the vault. Originally painted as stars on a blue sky, the Sistine Chapel ceiling was transformed into a work of art through the vision and hard work of the master.

The Sistine Chapel in Rome, thanks to Michelangelo, is one of the finest and grandest examples of Renaissance art, along with Raphael's portraits and the Mona Lisa. The enigmatic masterpiece from Leonardo da Vinci is now the Louvre Museum in France. Several of Michelangelo's scenes were inspired by the book of Genesis, including the iconic "Creation of Adam," in which the man reaches out for the hand of God. Other paintings depict the prophets of the Bible and Rome, the genealogy of Jesus, and a host of other small details that are worthy of your attention.

The "Last Judgment," another signature work of art at the Sistine Chapel in Rome, was painted on the altar wall. Michelangelo's massive fresco was completed in 1541, nearly 30 years after the ceiling.

A vital chapter in the history of the Sistine Chapel is much more recent. Restoration of the Sistine Chapel, completed nearly 500 years after Michelangelo transformed the space, has restored the paintings to their original splendor. Centuries of dullness were carefully stripped away, revealing the bright colors the painter knew well. The ceilings and the frescoes, including "The Last Judgment" became even more brilliant.

In addition to the Sistine Chapel, there is much for the faithful, history buffs, and art lovers to experience in the Vatican and surrounding Rome. Saint Peter's Square, the Basilica of St. Peter, and liturgical events draw many to sovereign enclave. The list of Rome's cultural attractions includes sites that have been important for millennia. The Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Roman roads, and countless museums are just a few places to begin.

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